Delta variant, focus on American data

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European stocks are heading for a muted opening on Tuesday as global investors watch the spread of the Covid-19 delta variant and wait for key economic data from the United States

The UK FTSE 100 is about 4 points lower at 7,069, the German DAX is expected to fall about 8 points to 15,546 and the French CAC 40 is expected to lose one point to 6,557, according to IG data.

Asia-Pacific stocks fell on Tuesday despite overnight gains on Wall Street, which saw the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite close at record highs. US equity futures point to a slightly lower open on Tuesday. Oil prices fell overnight as surges of Covid-19 infections threaten to reduce demand for fuel.

Concerns over the rapid spread of the highly contagious new delta variant of Covid-19 have rocked sentiment in Asia-Pacific, with several countries in the region grappling with epidemics.

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Global investors are also anticipating potentially important US labor market data later in the week, as markets seek to determine whether the US Federal Reserve will be forced to consider tightening monetary policy sooner than expected. The Labor Ministry’s key jobs report is due on Friday.

Back in Europe, policymakers at the European Central Bank on Monday began a public debate on when and how to end the massive emergency bond buying program launched last year to support the economy of the euro zone during the pandemic.

The Eurozone Economic, Industrial and Services Sentiment Surveys for June will be released Tuesday at 10 a.m. London time, with a reading of consumer confidence and inflation expectations in June. German consumer price index inflation figures are due Tuesday afternoon.

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